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TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

seemed, could survive the flood, the profusion of
darkness which, creeping in at keyholes and
crevices, stole round window blinds, came into
bedrooms, swallowed up here a jug and basin,
there a bowl of red and yellow dahlias, there the
sharp edges and firm bulk of a chest of drawers.
Not only was furniture confounded; there was
scarcely anything left of body or mind by which
one could say " This is he " or " This is she."
Sometimes a hand was raised as if to clutch
something or ward off something, or somebody
groaned, or somebody laughed aloud as if sharing
a joke with nothingness.

Nothing stirred in the drawing-room or in the
dining-room or on the staircase. Only through
the rusty hinges and swollen sea-moistened wood-
work certain airs, detached from the body of the
wind (the house was ramshackle after all) crept
round corners and ventured indoors. Almost one
might imagine them, as they entered the drawing-
room, questioning and wondering, toying with the
flap of hanging wall-paper, asking, would it hang
much longer, when would it fall? Then smoothly
brushing the walls, they passed on musingly as if
asking the red and yellow roses on the wall-paper
whether they would fade, and questioning (gently,
for there was time at their disposal) the torn letters
in the wastepaper basket, the flowers, the books,
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